Interview with MICHAEL ALAN NELSON

NelsonMA-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Michael Alan Nelson?

I grew up in a small farming community in northern Indiana. Lots of corn and woods and swamp, but not much else. However, we lived about ninety minutes from downtown Chicago, so my parents would make sure to get me into the city now and again to remind me there was a larger world out beyond the seemingly endless cornfields. It was actually a nice place to be. I got to experience that stereotypical “small town” life (for all its good and ills) and yet still be exposed to a large, diverse world beyond my back yard. I would spend a Saturday helping my dad cut down trees and split wood (we heated our home with a wood burning stove) and then head into the city on Sunday to visit Adler Planetarium or the Field Museum–though, to be honest, I much preferred the museums to splitting wood.

I was also a bit of a kid-of-all-cliques when I was growing up. I was always shy so people never paid much attention to me. That allowed me to occupy this odd space that floated between several different social strata. I was in theater, competed on the speech team, but I was also a varsity wrestler. Of course, sometimes I would skip practice to play Dungeons&Dragons. When I was supposed to be working on takedowns, I’d be in the bed of a pick-up truck parked in some random cornfield rolling for initiative. Needless to say, I didn’t have a very promising wrestling career. Continue reading

Trailer: Ant-Man

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdKf3MneyI]

This looks… Fun. I’m still surprised that Marvel picked this one to make before a whole host of other, more “commercial” or “mainstream” heroes, but it does look like it’ll be fun and on the lighter side of Marvel Studio’s output. Which is no bad thing — some humour in amongst the bleak and gritty is a necessity.

Marvel STAR WARS Featurette

StarWars-01A-Art2

Here’s a mini-featurette on the recently-published STAR WARS #1, in which series writer Jason Aaron, editor Jordan D. White, and Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso talk about the creation of the new ongoing series:

[youtube http://youtu.be/H_Hiky7fT2s]

There were 69(!) variant covers for this issue (which is frankly insane). A good number of them are pretty cool (Skottie Young’s is great). Personally, I think I like the Midtown Comics exclusive the best:

StarWars-01-MidtownSpeaking of of Skottie Young, he’s produced three covers – for Princess Leia #1, Star Wars #1, and Darth Vader #1 – that can be stitched together into a single image (via MTV News):

StarWars-SkottieYoungCovers

Review: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BATMAN and THE JOKER (Bantam/Transworld)

WorldAccordingToBatman&Joker

BATMAN

Written by Daniel Wallace | Illustrated by Joel Gomez & Beth Sotelo

Experience the world through the eyes of the Dark Knight, as Batman shares the secrets of his relentless battle against the villains of Gotham City.

Filled with insight on everything from his tragic origin story to invaluable crime-fighting tips, this fully illustrated book sees the World’s Greatest Detective give budding heroes all the advice they need to take on villainy wherever they find it.

THE JOKER

Written by Matthew K. Manning | Illustrated by Joel Gomez & Beth Sotelo

Enter the Joker’s twisted world as the Clown Prince of Crime shares his deranged worldview, revealing his skewed perspective on everything from life in Arkham Asylum to battling Batman.

This series of short, heavily-illustrated guides to the worlds of comic heroes and villains is a lot of fun. They’re very quick reads, and serve as excellent introductions, one-stop reference books and curios for fans new and old. Each of the books has a number of extra inserts and removable items — such as Arkham Asylum note cards (the Joker’s is amusing), Robin’s facemask, Post-It Note annotations from Dr. Arkham in the Joker’s book. In the Batman book, you’ll read about his equipment and world (include explanations of the most notable/stranger items in the Batcave), very brief descriptions of the key villains in the Rogues Gallery. The Joker’s book is appropriately zanier and more twisted, with riotous colours and scribblings from the mind of the demented clown. It’s a fun pair of books. I think they’d work as great stocking-stuffers for the Batman fan in your family. Readers already familiar with the characters may prefer one of the graphic novels or collections, though.

***

Bantam Press/Transworld have also published The World According To Spider-Man (review) and Wolverine (review).